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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
WHy Gandalf versus The Nine on Amon Sul should be worked into film two

AinurOlorin
Half-elven

May 1 2008, 1:30pm

Post #1 of 14 (349 views)
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WHy Gandalf versus The Nine on Amon Sul should be worked into film two Can't Post

I have spoken on this before, but think in light of the forward progression of things it bears mentioning again.

One of the most riveting scenes alluded to in The Fellowship novel, but completely left out of the films, was the explosive and dynamic confrontation between Gandalf the Gray and The Nine Wraith-Kings upon the hill of Amon Sul, a battle which Aragorn and the four hobbits saw from afar as "lightning that leaps up from the ground", and from which Aragorn latter observed that the entire hill top was scorched and blasted as though by a great burning. Gandalf later explained that the burning was indeed his doing, as, "at nightfall they gathered around me, and I was besieged. . . I was hard put to it indeed. Such light and flame cannot have been seen on Weathertop since the war beacons of old. At dawn I escaped. . . I could not hope to follow you Frodo, and it would have been foolish to try with all the nine on my heels."

And now, my argument for why it should have a place in the second film, and where. First, of course, it is a fabulous scene in and of itself. Second, and more importantly, it will finally make amends for what most fans consider to be one of the most eggregiously offensive moments of the filmed trilogy. . . the utter blow out victory of The WItch King ( a phantom servant of Sauron) over Gandalf (an Angelic, if restricted, servant of The Valar). Also it will balance Aragorn and Arwen staving off Wraiths, when seen compared with Gandalf's fiery battle with all the Nine. And trust, they meant to capture or "kill" Gandalf, but could not manage it. When they fought Aragorn, they had accomplished their main goal with Frodo, and more importantly DID NOT KNOW who Aragorn was. Had they known him to be Aragorn heir of Isildur whom Sauron had long sought to identify and slay, they would not have let him escape either. They DID know Gandalf, the chief and most persistent adversary of their master, so. . . you do the math.

Yet here is how ane where and why it could work. I cannot see the second film moving forward without some manner of Prequel detailing Gandalf's second fateful journey to Dol Guldur. Not only is this the "key" to the Erebor quest's beginnings, but it is also one of the most significant moments in the history of The Third Age. If not for that event, it is certain that the positive identification of Sauron would have come too late, perhaps only being fully realized as Smaug descended upon Rivendell, and an army of goblins, captained by The Nazgul and commanded as a whole by a Balrog of MorgothWink tore through the fencing of Lothlorien.

It seems highly reasonable that the Nazgul might have been sent, in the Aftermath of Gandalf's discovery, to stop The Wizard from reaching Lorien or Rivendell and reporting the terrible truth he had learned. Sauron had fled before the power and discovery of Gandalf 9 centuries earlier and avoided being identified. Now, being stronger, he had not fled, but had been tagged. He would have been in great fear, realizing he had been discovered by the chief of his foes, for he could not have known with certainty that Saruman in his ambition would thwart the advice and urgings of Mithrandir, thus giving Sauron an added century for the preperation of a feint, defence and new plan. As far as he know, Gandalf might have reached the elves, and gathered Istari and Eldar alike to march against Dol Guldur within a fortnight.

Gandalf says, "Even I, Gandalf, barely escaped." And so it must be assumed that Sauron put every effort into stopping the Wizard from reaching his Elven allies. For the sake of film, the restoration of a great scene, and the amendment of an awful decision, The Nine could be involved in that attempt.

I know some smarty arty is going to say, "But THe Nine were At Minas Morgul" to which I say. . . you don't know where the Nine were. They had been sent to Minas Morgul nearly a thousand years before, but there is nothing stating that in all that time they NEVER made secret journeys between Mordor and Mirkwood. There is no detailed account of their every movement between 2000 and 2951. And if you are going to tow the line to perfection, the first Film already made error in showing and having Saruman re-affirm that "The Nine" had "Left Minas Morgul." According to the most strict accounts there had not been 9 Wraith-Lords in Minas Morgul for over 50 years, since 2951 when Sauron sent Khamul and two of the others to re-occupy Dol Guldur. Three from Nine leaves only six. Also, the films did not have any problem with placing characters where they did not belong, and I think Nazgul Trying to stop Gandalf from exposing their Master to The Council of The Wise, makes plenty more sense than Arwen, the only daughter of Elrond, whose mother had been captured, molested and tortured by orcs, being sent in the stead of Glorfindel, one of the mightiest of The Eldar, to rescue Frodo and risk battle with The Nine.

This scene would not only be spectacular for the visuals ( a pre-Glamdring moment indeed), but it would sure up some major competency questions raised ( in some places improperly) by the films concerning Gandalf and the Nine.

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Owlyross
Rohan


May 1 2008, 3:01pm

Post #2 of 14 (202 views)
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Even the mightiest can be slain by one arrow [In reply to] Can't Post

No need to show this, as even Tolkien chose not to depict it. It's interesting you talk of the "Power" and the "Might" of Gandalf, and of Glorfindel... It leads me to believe you kinda miss the point of Lord of the Rings... Power and its desire ultimately corrupt... I thought Glorfindel was quite rightly left out of the films... He should have been left out of the book too... I agree that Gandalf's journey to Dol Guldur should be shown... It should be terrifying, and we should fear for him... But even then. He's not an angel, he doesn't have that many supernatural powers, as he's in the body of an old man... A double-hard old man, but a man nonetheless... Tolkien was at pains to play down "magic" and "power" and instead highlight the importance of words, of talking, and of humility.

At least a few of the Nine were at Dol Guldur, and I can imagine that they would feature in some way in the final battle to overthrow that stronghold...

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."
Benjamin Franklin
The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.
Horace Walpole (1717 - 1797)


AinurOlorin
Half-elven

May 1 2008, 3:59pm

Post #3 of 14 (187 views)
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Errors in your analogy Owlyross [In reply to] Can't Post

First, Tolkien depicted it enough for us to know that it happened and to have a general idea of how it played out. He did not fully depict Gandalf's battle with THe Balrog either, but it made it into film and was a spectacular moment.

And I don't miss at all the themes of humility, nor of the corruptive influence of power.

The mistake some have made is to read too far into certain aspects of the work, and have mistaken and conflated humility with impotence.

Gandalf was humble. Like Jesus, or Odin or at times even mighty Zeus and Hermes, he came in a humble form , seeking to persuade with wisdom and by example, and forbidden to match Sauron power for power. But he WAS NOT impotent or weak. Tolkien did not mean for him to be seen that way, and Gandalf was aware of his power even though he often hid it. "And so am I . Very dangerous. More dangerous than anything you will ever meet unless you are brought alive before the throne of The Dark Lord."

And Gandalf certainly is an Angel, even if he is in the form of an old man. In Middle-Earth he is definitely and categorically a Wizard. And he DOES have significant supernatural powers. "They had MANY powers of mind and hand." (notes on the Istari as scene in The Tale of Years and The Silmarillion).

Your initial assertion is also wrong within the context of The Legendarium. Gandalf The White could not be slain by an arrow, unless it was most sorcerous indeed. Remember the arrow of Legolas bursting into flame (or did I imagine that). Seems someone can be quoted to have said the following. "Get up, my good Gimli. . . No blame to you, no harm done to me. Indeed, none of you has any weapon that could hurt me." And this was while Aragorn carried Anduril!

To say that Glorfindel should not have been in the books. . . WOW. That suggests not only that you think the filmmakers knew better than Tolkien (and at least they attmpted a silent Glorfindel cameo in ROTk according to the trading cards), but that you also know much better than the author. If Glorfindel is a mistake (which many here would strongly disagree with. . . and some might fight over lol) then he is Tolkien's mistake and not mine.Tongue

Tolkien did not try to convey the idea that power was exclusively evil. Evil in his works came from a desire to dominate others through power, and from the desire for power beyond one's alloted measure. Mawnwe had great power, and while it was not, in its beginning, an equal to the power of Melkor, even Melkor's evil was not a result of his being powerful, but rather a result of his intent to use that power as a means of dominating all of his brethren and kin. Both Tolkien and Elrond state that Sauron was not evil in his beginning, though his native strength was greater before he created The Ring with evil intent.

No one is arguing for Gandalf to be portrayed as some almighty avenging deity. . . but he SHOULD be portrayed as the novels depict him. His powers should not be exaggerated, but NEITHER SHOULD THEY BE DIMINISHED. We have read what he can do. . .the enitre purpose of film is to show. And so we should, at last, see the visual representation of what we KNOW the Wizard can do in accordance with the text.

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


merklynn
Lorien


May 1 2008, 4:03pm

Post #4 of 14 (178 views)
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Two points... [In reply to] Can't Post

1. I think that the fact alone that they are making a movie based on a lot of things Tolkien vaguely touched upon means that a lof these hinted events may get adapted.

2. Despite this, I agree with Owlyross. I think there are very few givens, or "must haves" in the sprequel. We really don't know what they intend, or even if Dol Guldur WILL actually be in the film. I'll be disappointed if its not, but at the same time, I'm very willing to trust GDT at this point and see what he and others want to do.


Compa_Mighty
Tol Eressea


May 1 2008, 7:06pm

Post #5 of 14 (172 views)
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Why it won't be included [In reply to] Can't Post

The second movie is to get more information of events prior to Fellowship, it is not to add everything that has not be shown on screen. The event you mention is well into the Fellowship's timeline, thus, being ineligible for adaptation in the sprequel.

Here's to Del Toro becoming the Irvin Kershner of Middle Earth!

Essay winner of the Show us your Hobbit Pride Giveway!


Tolkien Forever
Gondor

May 1 2008, 8:44pm

Post #6 of 14 (145 views)
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Not happening [In reply to] Can't Post

For a purist, I'm surprised!

They can't be everywhere at once.....

Let's stick with Darth Vader vs Gandalf. Wink

Seriously, It's THE HOBBIT.

If they use stuff from The Appendices, the most sense would be to show Dwarf stuff - afterall, we have the Dwarves from Erebor, which is the main point of The Hobbit & movies MUST have a main point to Joe Averagemoviegoer, so show the Dwarf & Goblin war in a flashback (possibly) or more likely, Balin's expedition, plus the White Council with Gandalf going to Dol Guldur beforehand & finding Thrain & getting the map from him. You can throw in the Balrog being unearthed in Moria & the Dwarves fleeing in a flashback & it all ties up nicely.

Too many sidelights makes too much confusion to the average moviegoer.


DiveTwin
Rohan


May 1 2008, 9:46pm

Post #7 of 14 (148 views)
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Correct [In reply to] Can't Post

Agree with Compamighty on this one.

It happened during the time of FOTR, so doesn't make sense to put it anywhere in either "The Hobbit" or the second film. I agree that it would have been a great scene in LOTR's - but as that boat has now passed across the sea (until someone remakes LOTR about fifty years from now) I would actually hope NOT to see it. I wouldn't want either movie to appear as if they're trying to cram all the "lost" scenes from LOTR into them.

Additionally, I wasn't all that offended by the breaking of Gandalf's staff in ROTK-EE and I don't recall anyone else lamenting that (other than you). I surely understand what your saying, of course but personally I thought it helped to keep the mood as one that still appeared "bleak and hopeless against the might of Mordor". It also left doubt on whether Denethor's prediction could still come true (which, of course, it doesn't in the end) while we progressed to the last stand at the gates of Mordor. And generally I was happy to see a confrontation between Gandalf and the Witch King, something that I loved in the books.


(This post was edited by DiveTwin on May 1 2008, 9:47pm)


merklynn
Lorien


May 2 2008, 12:03am

Post #8 of 14 (126 views)
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I 100% agree with both Compamighty and DiveTwin - nt [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Gethsemane
The Shire


May 2 2008, 12:16am

Post #9 of 14 (121 views)
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gandalf [In reply to] Can't Post

Like others have said its a timeline thing and remember PJ is a stickler for timelines (something i appreciated in the movies) Theres piles of stuff in the subtexts ans appendices for the team to work off for the 2nd movie. As ive said before one of Gandalf major powers, strengths call it what you may is his ability to convince, guide, direct the peoples of middle earth to do the right thing either by his actions and or words.

it's good to have an end to journey towards, but it's the journey that matters in the end


AinurOlorin
Half-elven

May 2 2008, 12:57pm

Post #10 of 14 (156 views)
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a great many people were offended by the staff breaking [In reply to] Can't Post

Read through all the posts in this site, and also check out some on the hobbitblog and ringbeareer, etc. A LOT of people found that Witch King forgery offensive, it was definitely not just me. Anyway.

I think a few of the omissions from film one could be amended here and that would be good. Virtually every confrontation in the second film will be made up to some extent. Toien never tells us exaclty what confrontations Gandlaf had in or after Dol Guldur. Just that it was a narrow escape.\

It does not ruin timline Compa, becaus As I said before, we have know way of knowing that the Nine spent the entire thousand year span between their taking of Minas Morgul and The War of The Ring AT Minas Morgul. Indeed, three of them left permantly for Dol Guldur in 2951. Though in the film they were All still at Minas Morgul, so obviously liberties were taken.

Now I am not one who complained about certain things that NEVER actually happened in the text (say, the Elves of Lorien on the walls of Helm Hammerhand. . .)

Now here is an event that DID happen, and would work well if lifted for cinematic purpose. ANd it fits and it makes sense. This would have been one of the most perilous moment for Sauron's plans since he came to Dol Guldur. There was every chance that Gandalf would rally the rest of The Wise and launch a decisive attack well before Sauron was prepared, or Mordor made ready for his coming. He would have gone to all lenghts to stop Gandalf from reachng his chief allies, and why should the Nine not figure into that?

It certainly fits better than Arwen does on Glorfindel's Horse. I also don't rembemer the place in the book where a Nazgul's fell beast swoops down while Frodo offers the ring up to it. But I do remember reading that Gandalf, with his trademark "light and flame" did battle with The Nine on a hill top. A riveting scene that would work well transplanted. Not only looking better, but seeming more apppropriate than some of the transplants and flat out fabrications that have already been done.

And who was it that said Jackson was a timeline stickler/?/ LOL. If that were the case, this Amon Sul combat wouldn't need transplanting. It would have been in the Felloawship, as Gandalf would have been long escaped from Orthanc by the time Frodo was attacked by THe Witch King.

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Peredhil lover
Valinor

May 2 2008, 1:29pm

Post #11 of 14 (113 views)
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Would you please explain this [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
And who was it that said Jackson was a timeline stickler/?/ LOL. If that were the case, this Amon Sul combat wouldn't need transplanting. It would have been in the Felloawship, as Gandalf would have been long escaped from Orthanc by the time Frodo was attacked by THe Witch King.


Sorry, but I can't make sense of that. Transplanting what and where? It was in Fellowship and at the right place, and what has that to do with Jacksons timeline? And with Gandalf's escape?

I do not suffer from LotR obsession - I enjoy every minute of it.


DiveTwin
Rohan


May 2 2008, 1:36pm

Post #12 of 14 (111 views)
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Gotcha [In reply to] Can't Post

You might be right, AinurOlorin - as I am sure I've missed other posts about it. Thanks for pointing that out. I certainly can see your interest and passion for Tolkien in your posts - which a lot of folks on this site have in spades.

I'm one that read the books often over the years (and rereading now yet again) and absolutely loved Peter Jackson's "Lord Of The Rings", despite quibbles about various things. Overall, I couldn't be happier to have a extremely well done, very moving movie version of LOTR's that finally (and very un-Hollywood like) took a great fantasy story and played it straight, with spectacular and Oscar winning results. Notice that every similar genre movie out of Hollywood nowadays tries to do the same? Bravo Mr. Jackson!

Although I don't feel the same way about the breaking of the staff (not to say I was every "for" it, but that it really didn't matter significantly to me) I do agree with you that I would love to see the White Council move against Sauron at Dol Gulder. I can't speak for Guillermo Del Toro ... but I would bet the house that it will make it into the movie(s) in some fashion. I'm just excited to see what GDT, PJ and Fran come up with - and have every confidence in all them, considering all their past accomplishments and that they are choosing to take the next 4-5 years of their lives to be focused on this.


merklynn
Lorien


May 2 2008, 1:50pm

Post #13 of 14 (107 views)
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Be careful what you bet... [In reply to] Can't Post

Being careful what you wish for is sound advice, and so is being careful what you bet. And betting your house that Guillermo Del Toro will include the White Council's attack on Dol Guldur in the sprequel could leave you living in a cardboard box. I'm trying not to get my hopes too high... which is damned hard.. but of course this is what I'd like to see too. As a silly fan, I want to see the Necromancer staring back at Gandalf and others... Or at least some impressive servants of his... including physical confrontation. I want to see Gandalf hurling making or whirling his staff and blade. I want to see Galadriel showing us what she's got. I want to see Saruman's awkward place among their team, like troubled Boromir. I want to Elrond in his armour once again. But the likelihood of such a fangasm is probably very slim. If Dol Guldur is attacked it will probably be Gandalf with a group of representative warriors from Lothlorien and Rivendell rather than the Middle-earth dream team. But oh how I would die and go to heaven if they did it. And I'm an atheist, so that's saying something!


AinurOlorin
Half-elven

May 6 2008, 3:16pm

Post #14 of 14 (104 views)
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Clarity [In reply to] Can't Post

Let me clarify this. The film departs for the book, and also makes for a sin of omission which is in now way explained.

Obviuosly, I think transplanting the Battle Of Amon Sul (or a similar reconstruction)between Gandalf and the Nine Wraith-Lords, with the Wizard employing in his defence the "light and flame" which Aragorn and the hobbits viewed from afar, would be a masterpiece. It would also go a long way in making up for that travesty in ROTKEE with Gandalf in the witch-king, which frankly turned my stomach, and ruined an otherwise laudable extended edition to the point that I only watch the theatrical dvd. I am not the first person to say so, by the way. There have been entire threads in various forums on the topic, and not started by me.

But for those complaining that it would be a transplant or shift timeline events. . .

I will fully explain how its omission in the original Fellowship film marred the timeline, and definitely broke, for good or ill, with the time line of the book.

In the text, Gandalf had been rescued from Orthanc days before Frodo was attacked by The Witch-King on Weathertop. You will remember that the Wizard reached the hill-top before Aragorn and the hobbits did. In fact, they saw his battle with The Nine from miles off, but did not at first know what it was, only that they saw flashes of light, "like lightning that leaps up from the hill top." When they reached the hill a day or more later, Aragorn noted that the hill had been swept with fire and scorched, and surmised that Gandalf must have been attacked and fought his way free.

This departure in the timeline is actually VERY significant, and I am suprised that so few have noted it before. In the book and in The Film only Five wraiths, NOT Nine, attack Frodo. Why is this/ In the book we are informed of the reason: Gandalf battled with the nine, fought his way through their formation at dawn, and was followed by four who sought to discover something of his movements, and perhaps come to the ring thus. "THat helped. . . for there were only five and not nine when you were attacked. . ." But The film does not explain this at all. It leaves Gandalf at Isengard until well after Frodo's attack, and entirely fails to explain why only five wraiths are present during Frodo's attack.

Now this is just me, but I hardly see how the trasplant of the Stunning Gandalf vs. The Nine sequence (potential for an amzaing scene) into the Dol Guldur escape, would cause more logistical proplems thatn Gandalf being atop Orthanc, and not on the road to Rivendell with four of the nine in pursuit, when Frodo is attacked by wraiths still inexplicably numbering only five.

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."

 
 

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